May 22, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano (12) reacts after striking out to end the sixth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pirates Defeat Cubs In Pitchers Duel

The game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs wasn’t too exciting on Wednesday night, unless you like a nice old fashioned pitchers duel because that’s exactly what it was.  The Cubs drew the short end of the stick and dropped the game 1-0.

Francisco Liriano and Jeff Samardzija both had outstanding outings and for Samardzija, it was his second in a row.  Both starters threw seven innings and gave up four or less hits.  Samardzija gave up one run and that run came in the first inning after Garrett Jones singled to drive in Andrew McCutchen, who had two of the three Pirate hits. Samardzija could not have been better, but he just didn’t get any help from his offense which continues to be a problem for the Cubs.

Liriano only gave up two hits over his seven innings of work and continues to pitch well for the Pirates pushing his record to 3-0.

Welington Castillo had two of the Cub four hits and of those four, all were singles.  The Cubs went 0-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base.  Starlin Castro seems to be falling into a slump lately, he is 1-13 over his last three games.  The same thing goes for Anthony Rizzo, who is 0-13 in his last three games.

When these two don’t go, the Cubs don’t go.  I know that it’s a lot to put on two young players, but that is the reality of the situation.  Rizzo and Castro need to pick it up if the Cubs plan on doing any damage this year.

The Pirate bullpen was great, as they usually are.  As a group they threw two innings and gave up two hits.  Surprisingly the Cub bullpen was solid as well.  I know Carlos Villanueva was the only one to throw, but it’s nice to see someone step up because the Cubs need it badly.

With this win the Pirates ensure themselves of winning the three game set and for the Cubs, they will drop their second series straight.  The Cubs need to try to find their groove soon because it only gets tougher on their current eight game road trip.  After tomorrow’s game in Pittsburgh they will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Reds.

The probable starters for tomorrows game are Edwin Jackson (1-6) and Jeanmar Gomez (2-0).  First pitch is scheduled for 11:35 a.m. CT.

Tags: Andrew Mccutchen Anthony Rizzo Carlos Villanueva Chicago Cubs Edwin Jackson Francisco Liriano Garrett Jones Jeanmar Gomez Jeff Samardzija Pittsburgh Pirates Starlin Castro Welington Castillo

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